kmt + science   107

Color: From Hexcodes to Eyeballs
Why do we perceive background-color: #9B51E0 as this particular purple?

This is one of those questions where I thought I’d known the answer for a long time, but as I inspected my understanding, I realized there were pretty significant gaps.

Through an exploration of electromagnetic radiation, optical biology, colorimetry, and display hardware, I hope to start filling in some of these gaps. If you want to skip ahead, here’s the lay of the land we’ll be covering:
physics  reference  science  design  visualisation  explanation 
5 days ago by kmt
Backreaction: The Multiworse Is Coming
It’s a PR disaster that particle physics won’t be able to shake off easily. Before the LHC’s launch in 2008, many theorists expressed themselves confident the collider would produce new particles besides the Higgs boson. That hasn’t happened. And the public isn’t remotely as dumb as many academics wish. They’ll remember next time we come ask for money.

The big proclamations came almost exclusively from theoretical physicists; CERN didn’t promise anything they didn’t deliver. That is an important distinction, but I am afraid in the public perception the subtler differences won’t matter. It’s “physicists said.” And what physicists said was wrong. Like hair, trust is hard to split. And like hair, trust is easier to lose than to grow.
physics  science  methodology  philosophy  argument  reference 
20 days ago by kmt
We've Been Here Before: The Replication Crisis over the Pygmalion Effect | Introduction to the New Statistics
This is news to me…though maybe not to you.  Since I first read about the Pygmalion effect as a first-year college student I ‘ve bored countless friends and acquaintances with this study.  It was a conversational lodestone; I could find expectancy effects everywhere and so talked about them frequently.  No more, or at least not nearly so simplistically.  The original Pygmalion Effect is seductive baloney.

What has really crushed my spirit today is the history of the Pygmalion Effect.  It turns out that when it was published it set off a wave of debate that very closely mirrors the current replication crisis.  Details are below, but here’s the gist:
psychology  science  methodology  replication-crisis  argument  reference 
22 days ago by kmt
Dragonfly - Dunlap Institute
Dragonfly is an innovative, multi-lens array designed for ultra-low surface brightness astronomy at visible wavelengths. Commissioned in 2013 with only three lenses, the array is growing in size and proving capable of detecting extremely faint, complex structure around galaxies. The most recent upgrade—completed in 2016—saw Dragonfly grow to 48 lenses in two clusters.

Dragonfly is designed to reveal the faint structure by greatly reducing scattered light and internal reflections within its optics. It achieves this using commercially available Canon 400mm lenses with unprecedented nano-fabricated coatings with sub-wavelength structure on optical glasses.
astrophysics  telescopes  engineering  science  reference 
27 days ago by kmt
WHY
JUDEA PEARL AND DANA MACKENZIE
THE BOOK OF WHY: THE NEW SCIENCE OF CAUSE AND EFFECT
New York: Basic Books, Forthcoming May 2018
bayes  probability  science  methodology  read-later 
5 weeks ago by kmt
Mythical Retention Data & The Corrupted Cone – Work-Learning Research
I include these two examples to make two points. First, note how one person clearly stole from the other one. Second, note how sloppy these fabricators are. They include a Confucius quote that directly contradicts what the numbers say. On the left side of the visuals, Confucius is purported to say that hearing is better than seeing, while the numbers on the right of the visuals say that seeing is better than hearing. And, by the way, Confucius did not actually say what he is being alleged to have said! What seems clear from looking at these and other examples is that people don’t do their due diligence—their ends seems to justify their means—and they are damn sloppy, suggesting that they don’t think their audiences will examine their arguments closely.
education  argument  reference  psychology  methodology  science 
6 weeks ago by kmt
Content-Type: text/shitpost : The duties of John von Neumann's assistant
You may recall that this was extracted from an article titled Szeged in 1934.

That is because the author, Lorch, decided that he was not cut out for the job, and fled to Hungary.
math  history  science  people 
9 weeks ago by kmt
Do algorithms reveal sexual orientation or just expose our stereotypes?
In late 2016, the paper motivating our physiognomy essay seemed well outside the mainstream in tech and academia, but as in other areas of discourse, what recently felt like a fringe position must now be addressed head on. Kosinski is a faculty member of Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, and this new study has been accepted for publication in the respected Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Much of the ensuing scrutiny has focused on ethics, implicitly assuming that the science is valid. We will focus on the science.
--------
tl,dr: it's not
learning  machine-learning  biology  science  argument 
january 2018 by kmt
If Susan Can Learn Physics, So Can You | Fledgling Physicist
If I can sit here and calculate the Debye temperature, you can too. If I can sit here and find Green’s functions, by god, you can too. If I can bang my head against my desk in frustration because I can’t figure out how to solve some crazy stat mech problem, you can too. If I can stay awake at night freaking out about the EPR paradox and the foundations of quantum mechanics, you damn well can too. Seriously. Instead of watching an extra hour of TV, go pick up a calculus textbook, or a book about the standard model – anything!

It’s no different than picking up a work of literature. It’s nothing more than trying to understand the world around you, learning to see it in new and different (and beautiful) ways. If I can learn physics, then so can you.
engineering  education  learning  physics  science  life  advice 
december 2017 by kmt
McNamara fallacy - Wikipedia
The McNamara fallacy (also known as quantitative fallacy[1]), named for Robert McNamara, the United States Secretary of Defense from 1961 to 1968, involves making a decision based solely on quantitative observations (or metrics) and ignoring all others.
logic  psychology  science  methodology 
november 2017 by kmt
VVater VVitches | MetaFilter
ritual and arbitrary rules are important to open up intuition (cf. tarot & reading [ppl, geology, water]) - i'm sliding with flatbladet and Douglas Adams
metafilter  science  psychology  magic  intuition  methodology 
november 2017 by kmt
"I placed too much faith in underpowered studies:" Nobel Prize winner admits mistakes - Retraction Watch at Retraction Watch
Although it’s the right thing to do, it’s never easy to admit error — particularly when you’re an extremely high-profile scientist whose work is being dissected publicly. So while it’s not a retraction, we thought this was worth noting: A Nobel Prize-winning researcher has admitted on a blog that he relied on weak studies in a chapter of his bestselling book.

The blog — by Ulrich Schimmack, Moritz Heene, and Kamini Kesavan — critiqued the citations included in a book by Daniel Kahneman, a psychologist whose research has illuminated our understanding of how humans form judgments and make decisions and earned him half of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics.
science  methodology  reference  people 
september 2017 by kmt
Men Have Always Used 'Science' to Explain Why They're Better Than Women
Sadly, the ideas espoused in his letter echo the same pseudoscience peddled by eugenicists and white supremacists for decades—and they’re unlikely to disappear anytime soon.
politics  science  argument 
august 2017 by kmt
Worst government leak: clueless agency moved everything to "The Cloud"
Sweden’s Transport Agency moved all of its data to “the cloud”, apparently unaware that there is no cloud, only somebody else’s computer. In doing so, it exposed and leaked every conceivable top secret database: fighter pilots, SEAL team operators, police suspects, people under witness relocation. Names, photos, and home addresses: the list is just getting started. The responsible director has been found guilty in criminal court of the whole affair, and sentenced to the harshest sentence ever seen in Swedish government: she was docked half a month’s paycheck.
science  privacy  read-later 
july 2017 by kmt
Where are the chemistry popular science books?
An easy straw poll is provided by the topic tags on the site. At the time of writing, there are 22 books under 'chemistry' as opposed to 97 maths, 126 biology and 182 physics. The distribution is inevitably influenced by editorial bias - but as the editor, I can confirm that the only conscious negative bias is my lack of enthusiasm for medical titles. I would love to include more good popular chemistry titles - but I don't see many.
chemistry  science  writing  books 
july 2017 by kmt
Visual Satellite Observer's Home Page
If you have ever star-gazed shortly after sunset or before sunrise, you have probably noticed one or two "stars" sailing gracefully across the sky. These are Earth-orbiting satellites, visible due to the reflection of the Sun's light off their surfaces toward the observer. Hundreds of satellites are visible to the unaided eye; thousands are visible using binoculars and telescopes. Observing satellites has many enthusiasts around the world.
astrophysics  science  space 
june 2017 by kmt
Before Copernicus | McGill-Queen’s University Press
In 1984, Noel Swerdlow and Otto Neugebauer argued that Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) explained planetary motion by using mathematical devices and astronomical models originally developed by Islamic astronomers in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Was this a parallel development, or did Copernicus somehow learn of the work of his predecessors, and if so, how? And if Copernicus did use material from the Islamic world, how then should we understand the European context of his innovative cosmology? Although Copernicus’s work has been subject to a number of excellent studies, there has been little attention paid to the sources and diverse cultures that might have inspired him.

Foregrounding the importance of interactions between Islamic and European astronomers and philosophers, Before Copernicus explores the multi-cultural, multi-religious, and multi-lingual context of learning on the eve of the Copernican revolution, determining the relationship between Copernicus and his predecessors. Essays by Christopher Celenza and Nancy Bisaha delve into the European cultural and intellectual contexts of the fifteenth century, revealing both the profound differences between “them” and “us,” and the nascent attitudes that would mark the turn to modernity. Michael Shank, F. Jamil Ragep, Sally Ragep, and Robert Morrison depict the vibrant and creative work of astronomers in the Christian, Islamic, and Jewish worlds. In other essays, Rivka Feldhay, Raz Chen-Morris, and Edith Sylla demonstrate the importance of shifting outlooks that were critical for the emergence of a new worldview.

Highlighting the often-neglected intercultural exchange between Islam and early modern Europe, Before Copernicus reimagines the scientific revolution in a global context.
books  science  history 
june 2017 by kmt
Fourmilab
This site is developed and maintained by John Walker, founder of Autodesk, Inc. and co-author of AutoCAD. A variety of documents, images, software for various machines, and interactive Web resources are available here; click on entries in the frame to the left to display a table of contents for that topic. Items which span more than one category are listed in all.
astronomy  reference  science  read-later 
may 2017 by kmt
Vectors Website Map
Vectors Website Map

01 may 17 / greg goebel / follow "gvgoebel" on twitter
* This page provides a list of all titles on the site. Please note that all written materials here are in the public domain. All bitmaps marked with "GVG / PD" are in the public domain, anything else I can't give permissions for. Feel free to repost or reuse all public-domain materials from this site, though crediting the source and providing a link to this site would be very much appreciated.

The Vectors website is dedicated to educational writings on science, technology, and history. Associated sites include:

AirVectors, an aircraft encyclopedia.

The DayVectors blog on science, technology, and sociopolitical trends.

My Amazon.com list of Kindle ebooks

A Flickr archive of photographs I've taken, including a fair number of aircraft, as well as retouch jobs of old paperback covers.
science  history  read-later  reference 
may 2017 by kmt
Teleskopos: How the telescope got its name – The Renaissance Mathematicus
In the first historical record of the telescope, a letter of introduction for its inventor, Hans Lipperhey, from the Councillors of Zeeland to the States General in Den Hague, this wonderful invention that would revolutionise astronomy had no name and was referred to as “a certain device, by means of which all things at a very great distance can be seen as if they were nearby, by looking through glasses…” Not exactly a phrase that rolls off the tongue. In the first printed account of this new invention, a French pamphlet reporting on the visit of the Siamese Ambassador to the Court of Prince Maurice of Nassau during which the telescope was first demonstrated in public, it is just referred to as ‘lunettes’ the French for glasses leading to a possible confusion with ordinary eye glasses or spectacles.
history  science  astronomy 
april 2017 by kmt
Overconfidence over the lifespan
This research investigated how different forms of overconfidence correlate with age. Contrary to stereotypes that young people are more overconfident, the results provide little evidence that overestimation of one’s performance or overplacement of one’s performance relative to that of others is correlated with age. Instead, the results suggest that precision in judgment (confidence that one knows the truth) increases with age. This result is strongest for probabilistic elicitations, and not present in quantile elicitations or reported confidence intervals. The results suggest that a lifetime of experience, rather than leading to better calibration, instead may increase our confidence that we know what we’re talking about.
psychology  academia  science 
january 2017 by kmt
Economists versus the Economy by Robert Skidelsky - Project Syndicate
Let’s be honest: no one knows what is happening in the world economy today. Recovery from the collapse of 2008 has been unexpectedly slow. Are we on the road to full health or mired in “secular stagnation”? Is globalization coming or going?
economics  politics  science  methodology 
december 2016 by kmt
WHY HARD: Why Electricity is Impossible to Understand
Why are my explanations different than usual? Because they're not based on earlier K-12 textbooks. Instead they're based on college-level physics textbooks, but I've translated the math into English. They're also based upon the intentional defeating of misconceptions: on the painful 'unlearning' I had to go through before I could gain an intuitive understanding of simple electrical physics. I kept a running record both of textbook errors and of useful simple concepts, as well as listing my own childhood misconceptions as I discovered them.
learning  physics  science  electronics  engineering 
november 2016 by kmt
Doubts About the Promised Bounty of Genetically Modified Crops - The New York Times
LONDON — The controversy over genetically modified crops has long focused on largely unsubstantiated fears that they are unsafe to eat.

But an extensive examination by The New York Times indicates that the debate has missed a more basic problem — genetic modification in the United States and Canada has not accelerated increases in crop yields or led to an overall reduction in the use of chemical pesticides.
politics  science  food  biology  GMO 
october 2016 by kmt
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